BN Sarawak using MA63 as election bait to lure voters, Dr Yii claims

Yii addresses reporters at a press conference at DAP headquarters in Kuching.

KUCHING, May 5: Democratic Action Party (DAP) candidate for Bandar Kuching Dr Kelvin Yii reminded Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian that this parliamentary election (GE14) was about discussing national policies that would affect the wellbeing and interests of Sarawak.

He said that what SUPP had been doing throughout the campaign period which began on April 28 was just championing vague ‘slogans’ and ‘wants’ just to play to the gallery in Sarawak while remaining silent in Parliament where it mattered.

During a press conference at DAP headquarters here this afternoon, Dr Yii said SUPP and the state Barisan Nasional (BN) as part of the ruling government, could have restored Sarawak’s rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) even before the election, but instead they used it as bait to induce voters to vote for them.

“This is not only an insult to the spirit of the agreement, but also speaks volumes of their weakness and lack of political will by BN to return our rights,” said Dr Yii.

In response to Dr Sim’s statement that May 9 was about voting for Sarawak’s rights and not Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or even Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Yii reminded Dr Sim, who is also SUPP candidate for Stampin, that GE14 for Sarawak would be a Parliamentary Election where the people would vote for a new federal government and thus also a new Prime Minister.

Yii said that it was irresponsible for Dr Sim to mislead the people in an attempt to isolate themselves from the faults and failings of the BN government especially all those concerning Najib.

“As the ruling government who has the authority to implement policies or the return of our rights, may I question SUPP and even BN Sarawak, what have you done until now? You have constantly made strong public declarations here in Sarawak, but even after the much publicized, public-funded trip to London, you have very little to show for your efforts.

“If your campaign or narrative is based on the returning of our rights, why are there no specifics of what has been returned to Sarawak? It was their slogan since the state election in 2016 but yet till now, little to nothing has come out of it.

“All they talked about was for voters to help them get stronger so that they can ‘negotiate’. That’s not only unspecific, but shows BN is unwilling to return our rights even when they are facing a desperate situation of losing the election without the votes of Sarawak,” said Dr Yii.

He pointed out that this was in contrast with what Pakatan Harapan (PH) was offering. He said that PH was sincere in returning Sarawak’s rights which included the returning of its territorial status to an equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia, 20 per cent oil royalty, returning of 50 per cent of all taxes collected in Sarawak, and education and healthcare autonomy, amongst others.

“We also pledged to recognise MA63 and will review all laws contravening the agreement through a Cabinet Committee with a set timeline of six months in comparison to BN’s vague promise and non-existent timeline.

“This has already been negotiated, it will be returned to the Sarawak government regardless of the political affiliation as we will be a responsible and equitable federal government to all races, not just to one ethnic group, but all Sarawakians.

“We must move beyond the racial lines that SUPP is playing and move to new politics that is just and equitable for all,” Dr Yii emphasised. — DayakDaily